Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Last Day trip and Picnic for 2010

I recently enjoyed what was probably my last day trip and picnic this year with my sister, Pat. The occasion was a friend’s book signing in New Hartford, CT. Patti Kierys wrote a book titled Christmas in the Country, an historical account of The Ullmann Farm in Pleasant Valley, CT. The Ullmann family arrived in Hartford in 1884, and the following year settled in a homestead now known as Squire’s Tavern.

The book is a charming and captivating account of the family’s personal stories and holiday traditions, brought to life by authentic recipes and numerous photos, including a tree decorated with Patti’s own re-created Victorian ornaments. Similar ornaments designed by Patti have often adorned trees at various esteemed residences in Connecticut, like the Governor’s Mansion, as well as travelling all the way to the White House in Washington, D.C.

We loved the fact that the venue for Patti’s book signing was the Gallery at Jerram Winery in New Hartford. This was my first visit, so of course we went early for a wine tasting and picnic which we had picked up at Passiflora Tea Room, Café and Herbal Shoppe, also in New Hartford. Not only do they have great-tasting local, organic food but have some fun special events on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Check it out at www.passiflorateas.com.

Jerram Winery was founded in 1998 by Jim Jerram, owner and winemaker. Our tasting consisted of 6 wines, both red and white (out of 11 on the list) several of which were award winners. The property and buildings are unique and welcoming, especially the Tasting Room, a former butter factory that is 107 years old. We look forward to visiting again, perhaps at a different time of year, and learning more about the history of the farm. www.jerramwinery.com.

I don’t foresee any picnics during December; this month will be devoted to holiday festivities, including shopping. Now that Black Friday is over, I look forward to a slower-paced shopping experience. If you also enjoy a more leisurely and fun type of holiday shopping, consider the following two venues:

Friday, December 3rd, from 4:30-9:00pm. Shop ‘til You Drop at Woodside School, 30 Woodside Road, Cromwell. With over 60 vendors (including authors Patricia Sheehy (http://patriciasheehy.wordpress.com) and Jan Mann (www.cruisingconnecticut.com) you should have plenty of gift choices. Enjoy free admission, raffles, door prizes and refreshments.

Wednesday, December 8th from 5:00-8:00pm. Heart of the Country, 169 Main Street, Old Wethersfield is hosting a Girls Night Out with authors Patricia Sheehy, Jan Mann and Maureen Chapdelaine (www.notmymotherswedding.com) Enjoy light refreshments, including a treat from Jan’s picnic basket while you browse at this unique and diverse gift shop.

Hope to see you at one of these events.

Monday, November 15, 2010

November Days

I hope everyone enjoyed “Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day” yesterday (November 14th), a reminder of the “benefits of joy and laughter.” Don’t worry if you didn’t know about it, these traits work well any day, and in fact provide more benefits when put into practice consistently. Yet, it’s easy to get distracted in these busy times, so I decided to write these words on a sticky note and place beside my computer where I spend much of my time working on my second book.

Speaking of writing, today (November 15th) is “I Love to Write Day”, a day to “encourage people of all ages to write something: a poem, a short story or a letter to the editor, or to start or finish a novel.” Hmm, it goes on to say, “The possibilities are endless” so I figure everything we write probably counts, except maybe our shopping list.

This day was founded in 2002 by Delaware Author and Ghostwriter John Riddle and will be observed in major cities around the U.S. with libraries, schools and bookstores planning special events and activities. Check it out at www.Ilovetowriteday.org. Actually, even if you don’t enjoy writing, try just a few minutes of journaling on a regular basis. It’s amazing how much we learn about ourselves, and it’s great for problem solving!

I love this one. November 26th is “Sinkie Day”, a day to become acquainted (if you are not already) with the “time-honored, casual-yet-tasteful cuisine culture” of eating over the kitchen sink. How fitting that this falls on the day after Thanksgiving when people can enjoy the leftovers in style!

Happy Thanksgiving, and no matter how you enjoy your leftovers, may there be plenty!